Aug 29

The Hit List: Sedona

In an effort to share my travels¬†with you in a more timely fashion, I’m trying out a new column: The Hit List. It’s a fast and dirty rundown¬†highlighting¬†what I’ve¬†uncovered in different destinations. Not meant to be a comprehensive guide, it’s simply a list of recommendations to hit¬†on your itinerary if you go–in a similar vein to the Daily Dose. After all, my first impulse to write about travel came from wanting a few good restaurant and bar recommendations¬†in San Francisco many years ago. So I present you with the first installment of The Hit List… Sedona.¬†


The road leading to Verde Valley School.


I recently returned from a week at the inaugural Sedona Summer Artist Colony¬†at the Verde Valley School in the Village of Oak Creek. It was my first time in the high desert of Arizona’s Red Rocks and the experience was pretty magical. I spent the week hiking through energy vortexes, exploring Sedona’s New Age-y side and getting to know a diverse cross section of artists from across the country.


Daniel & Yona entertaining the group at a farewell party for the Sedona Summer Artist Colony.



At first I was a little nervous to set off on long hikes in the desert alone, but I quickly tapped into my Wild (á la Cheryl Strayed) side and relished in the solitude surrounded by this otherworldly nature.


The view approaching Chicken Point.


Little Horse + Chapel – approx. 4.8 miles –¬†This trail is¬†part of the Bell Rock Pathway¬†with crazy views at the end at Chicken Point. I also tacked on the Chapel trail, which takes you to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a Modernist church built in the middle of the desert mountains.


Views up to Cathedral at the creek.


Baldwin to the Creek –¬†The Colony was located right by a creek for swimming with views to Cathedral. I went with my new buddies Ashley¬†and Chris.


At the peaks of Cathedral.


Cathedral – approx. 1.4 miles –¬†This is¬†pretty monumental, more of a climb than a hike, up the side of the Cathedral rock energy vortex with an incredible payoff at the top.


On Devil’s Bridge.


Devil’s Bridge – approx. 4 miles –¬†Once you arrive, the name is pretty self-explanatory.


My heart-shaped rock with the masculine energy vortex at Boynton Vista in the background.


Boynton Canyon + Vista – approx. 8 miles –¬†My friend Betsy tipped me off to this hike, where she said a man along the¬†trail plays the flute and gives heart shaped rocks to¬†people he meets. After a long hike through the canyon forest and back with big yellow butterflies following me, I scaled the vista, hearing the sounds of the flute in the distance. When I reached the top, I looked up to see a¬†man with a thick white mustache. He greeted me: “Welcome, you’ve reached the point of¬†two powerful energy vortexes, the masculine over here and the divine feminine, Kachina. Soak it all in and spread the love.” Then, he handed me a¬†heart-shaped rock and¬†made his way down the trail.


Elote – Upscale Mexican in a laidback atmosphere.


Bomb town huevos rancheros at Coffee Pot.


Coffee Pot –¬†Okay, I loved this place. It’s a cross between a funky diner and a Mexican restaurant. They’re known for their¬†101 omelettes, but I was on a huevos rancheros kick. After my five mile Litte Horse hike, I was famished. I added chorizo and avocado, plus a side of hash browns, coffee and fresh-squeezed¬†OJ. Heaven.

Local Juicery – Self explanatory.

Chocolate Tree –¬†A chocolaterie/Vegan restaurant. I ordered a ginger lemonade with a shot of wheat grass and the¬†Sedona 2012 wrap, which is basically a Vegan chimichanga. It was delicious and filling. They also have blue corn “se’donuts” baked with coconut oil and maple syrup for dessert, which were kind of gross/good.

New Age-y Stuff

Mystical BazaarIn Sedona, there are more “sacred lights” and “healing arts” centers¬†on the side of the road than you can shake a stick at (whatever that means). And, yes, I stopped in¬†all of them. Ultimately,¬†my energy drew me to the¬†Mystical Bazaar where the woman covered in glitter behind the counter explained that her healers approach¬†their readings without ego,¬†working with abundant white light and accessing the higher angels. Sold. I had my chakras balanced and¬†learned that my third chakra, the solar plexus, has trouble firing up, keeping me from experiencing true joy. Other than that I’m fine.

Crystal Magic –¬†Crystal shops have also run amok in¬†Sedona and Crystal Magic was my favorite. I bought some rose quartz for myself, hoping to attract love, and picked out crystals for my friends that I intuitively matched to their auras.


The Amitabha Stupa.


Amitabha Stupa – I popped into the McLean Meditation Institute right before a monsoon swept across the red rocks,¬†and¬†I was tipped off to a¬†Buddhist stupa in the middle of the desert. What, you might ask, is a Buddhist stupa? It’s an alter with a little baby Buddha on it that you walk around three times praying for peace and the end of world suffering.¬†I loved it.

PHX Stopover

Sedona’s a two-hour drive from Phoenix where I flew in. Here’s a couple of bomb breakfast spots.


Eggs and rellenos at Richardson’s. This was so good!


Richardson’s – My bros Tommy & Casey took me to Richardson’s, a New Mexican restaurant, where I ordered one beef and one cheese chili relleno with eggs over easy, hashbrowns and beans smothered in a green chili sauce. Out of control delicious.

Snooze, an AM Eatery – I had huevos rancheros here.

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